There’s some exceptional seafood restaurants in Galway City.
Sitting pretty on the west coast of Ireland, with the North Atlantic Ocean lapping at its doors, Galway is perfectly placed for catching and cooking world-class seafood.
From traditional seafood restaurants to bistros and cafes that serve up the fishy goods, these are our top recommendations for the best fish restaurants in Galway.
The best seafood restaurants in Galway City
Since publishing a guide to the best restaurants in Galway, we’ve been inundated with recommendations for places that excel when it comes to food from the sea.
Below, you’ll find what we think are the best fish restaurants in Galway, from Hooked and the Seafood Bar at Kirwan’s to everything in between.
Just over the western canal from Nuns Island in the city, Hooked is one of the smaller seafood restaurants in Galway, but by God it punches well above its weight.
Step inside its nautical-themed doors and grab a spot at any of the dozen or so wooden tables before you order. It’s a relaxed spot with open-plan seating making it a lively spot when it’s packed.
Get your meal started with Ali’s half portion of seafood chowder. It’s thick and creamy and is perfect on a cold day.
Or, skip straight to the main event! Try Hooked’s Galway Bay prawns and some of the iconic golden battered fish and chips!
2. The Seafood Bar at Kirwan’s
At the bottom of the old town, in the Latin Quarter, this chic seafood restaurant is a great spot for those who love dining out and live jazz music.
Semi-formal, or smart casual, it’s definitely fancier than most with a polished wooden bar, long-stemmed wine glasses, and feel akin to a Parisian cafe. This place just oozes class.
If you love oysters, then you’re in for a treat! Order their Galway Bay rock oysters by the 1/2 dozen, and enjoy!
For those who love a good pasta dish, you won’t be disappointed here. Try their linguine with Gambas prawns, mussels, and Palourde clams.
If you’re looking for fish restaurants in Galway to mark a special occasion, Kirwan’s is hard to beat.
3. Oscars Seafood Bistro
Just over the western canal, near the south of Nuns Island, Oscar’s is a bistro with a saltwater heart serving everything from smoked coalfish fishcakes to Aran Island brown crab and wild prawns in garlic and herb butter.
The bistro’s shabby-chic aesthetic works, despite the eyebrow-raising mix ‘n match of colours; whites, duck-egg blue, and a splash of red, all somehow combine to make this an enchanting dining environment.
But, before you go, if you love to indulge in a fine dessert at the end of your meal, then you must try Oscar’s decadently rich crème brûlée here.
4. Brasserie On The Corner
An upmarket restaurant with a panache for easy-going sophistication, Brasserie on the Corner has real eye appeal; plush magenta velvet seating, alluring exposed brick arches, moody ambient lighting, and a well-stocked bar with your favourite tipple from around the world all wrapped up in layers of dark timber and brass.
But that’s not why you come here; it’s all about the seafood!
Brasserie On The Corner’s reputation for outstanding seafood is well deserved, with stunning presentation and flavour combinations to really rock your palette.
Try the pan-fried salmon served with purple potatoes and courgette and butternut squash parisienne or the local Galway mussels in Madras curry to discover for yourself!
This is one of the best seafood restaurants in Galway for good reason (they cocktails are pretty damn good, too!).
5. The Black Cat
Not far from the shore, just past historic Claddagh, The Black Cat sits and waits patiently for you to arrive.
Terrible cat jokes aside, this moggy is at one with its seafood offerings, and you will be too when you see it arrive; plate presentation is out of this world, with dishes like their iconic black pasta with fresh calamari, prawns, and mussels.
This restaurant and wine bar is a serious affair, with intimate tables for two set against a backdrop of minimalist white walls and delicate lighting. It’s the kind of place you go to be alone, even when it’s crowded.
6. Ard Bia at Nimmos
Just near the Spanish Arch on the River Corrib, this aesthetically beautiful restaurant is a real showstopper.
Using a harmonious blend of bare timber tables with unobtrusively painted chairs, wax-coated candlesticks, and blue china tableware, it feels more like dining at a friend’s house than a fancy restaurant.
Whilst this place is well known for its extensive list of rare and pricey whiskies, it’s the seafood you really want to hone in on.
From the Connemara smoked salmon for brunch to the pan-roasted black Pollock and fried fish cakes from local Gannet’s fish, it’s all delicious!
A traditional fish and chip shop, McDonagh’s is one of the more casual seafood restaurants in Galway, but don’t let it’s casual charm fool you – there’s an incredible variety of seafood on offer here.
All of the fish is sourced from sustainable stocks with traceable origins, and the spuds are peeled fresh every morning to create the most incredible homemade chips.
Inside there are a few tables and chairs, enough for twenty or so diners, but it’s not unusual to see folks lined up at the door for a takeaway.
Get it any way you can. It’s Kelly’s Gigas oysters you want to try, followed by the traditional battered cod and chips, but do try the smoked fish for a change!
8. The Quay Street Kitchen
The Quay Street Kitchen seriously underplays how good its seafood is.
It’s a small place, with a dozen or so tables for two, and with the exposed beam ceiling, parquet flooring, and whitewashed walls, it does feel a little like dining in a private vaulted cellar.
The menu boasts a number of tempting seafood offerings; piping hot bowls of lusciously thick seafood chowder, crispy calamari with a lime and chilli mayo dip, a pot of steamed mussels in a cream and wine sauce, or a generous serving of freshly prepared fish in a rich tomato-based sauce with crusty bread.
This is Irish seafood as it should be, fresh, delicious and prepared with incredible attention to detail.
9. O’Gradys on the Pier
The first of our seafood restaurants in Galway that’s outside the city in this guide is O’Grady’s in Barna – a fine dining hidden gem. Step inside and make a beeline for the tables by the windows.
The view across the harbour and beyond is truly captivating, especially if there’s a storm! Otherwise, make yourself comfortable wherever there’s a spot. It’s a cosy place, so prepare to make new friends.
There’s plenty to talk about, with the seafood being a big attraction: it doesn’t come any fresher than straight off the pier!
Get started with some monkfish tempura served with pickled fennel or the Killary mussels in their rich leek and chorizo sauce.
10. WA SUSHI
Not strictly a seafood restaurant, WA Sushi does however serve up some utterly delectable fishy delights.
This stylish Japanese sushi spot is amongst some of the nation’s finest, and with its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, it’s bound to appeal to everyone.
Sit down at one of the unassuming plain tables, pour some traditional tea, and get ready for the feast: ample plates of sushi with tuna and salmon, seafood gyoza or sashimi don on top of a bed of steamed rice or salmon katsu rolls
Or opt for a large platter of nigiri with bluefin tuna, wild eel, brown crab, even a seaweed noodle salad!
Seafood Galway: Where have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some brilliant fish restaurants in Galway from the guide above.
If you have a place that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out! Or, nip into one of our many other Galway food guides:
- 10 Of The Best Places For Breakfast And Brunch In Galway
- 7 Of The Best Indian Restaurants In Galway In 2023
- 10 Places Pouring The Best Cocktails In Galway In 2023
- 10 Places Dishing Up The Best Pizza In Galway City And Beyond
- The Best Lunch In Galway City: 12 Tasty Spots To Try
- 9 Of The Best Italian Restaurants In Galway In 2023
- 7 Best Places To Eat In Galway For Sushi
FAQs about the finest seafood restaurants Galway has to offer
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Which fish restaurants in Galway are fanciest?’ to ‘Where does a good fish and chips?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best seafood restaurants in Galway?
In our opinion, The Seafood Bar at Kirwan’s, Brasserie On The Corner and Oscars Seafood Bistro and the best fish restaurants in Galway.
What are some fancy fish restaurants in Galway?
The Seafood Bar at Kirwan’s, Ard Bia at Nimmos and O’Gradys on the Pier are three of the fancier Galway seafood restaurants that are worth nipping into.
Where does great fish and chips in Galway?
McDonagh’s down at the Latin Quarter is a casual spot that could go toe-to-toe with the best seafood restaurants in Galway when it comes to the range of fish on offer. However, it’s the fish and chips that steal the show here.